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Use social media for work networking

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Networking isn’t just about attending conferences and exchanging business cards, and social media isn’t just about checking in on “friends” and sharing what you’re eating.

With social media, you can make valuable and lasting connections with professional contacts. But making your mark on the Web and reaching the right people requires a little finesse.

Attorney and Internet marketer Mark Olson offers these tips for making professional connections via social media.

•  Take your time. You should be comfortable using one channel before getting involved with another, and you should choose your channels wisely. You want to be visible on the ones where conversations about your industry take place.

•  Track your industry. Find out where the people in your industry are active online. Follow the bread crumbs to whichever channel or channels people in your industry are using to connect and converse.

•  Perfect your profile. Be sure to make a good impression by presenting a polished image and professional personal brand. Write a bio and have someone edit it for you. Be sure to include a professional, high resolution photograph of yourself.

•  Consider it a conversation. Networking online is similar to networking in person in that you have to connect and engage in a conversation with people. The best way to get your name out there is to make connections and build a network of people who will share your content. To do that, you have to start by commenting on and interacting with the content others are sharing.

— Adapted from “Eight Essential Tips for Social Media Success,” Mark Olson, IMSoup.com.

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